Keep Food Legal Submits Comments in Support of DC Food Trucks

Washigton, DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has long considered proposed reforms to the District's regulations that govern food trucks. When DCRA recently issued proposed regulations, most supporters of food trucks were pleased with the content. But most also believed there were still a few pieces missing, and that some potentiall hurdles in the regulations should be removed.

When DCRA opened up the regulations to public comment, Keep Food Legal jumped at the opportunity to make sure our voice (and yours) was heard. Here is an exceprt from the comments we submitted before yesterday's comment deadline:

Keep Food Legal commends DCRA for proposing many regulations that would improve the climate for mobile food vendors and consumers in the District. Keep Food Legal, on behalf of our members and supporters, urges DCRA to ADOPT the proposed regulations insofar as they do not restrict mobile food vending. We support many of the elements of the current regulations and urge DCRA to also take the following additional steps:

1) DO NOT place any restrictions on mobile vendors based in any way on the items they serve. For example, the final regulations should not discriminate against food trucks that sell sweet (rather than savory or other) items.

2) DO NOT create the proposed Vending Development Zones that would no doubt be used to limit consumer access to food sold by mobile vendors.

3) DO NOT restrict operating hours for food trucks. Any regulations pertaining to hours of operation must apply equally to both food trucks and restaurants.

4) DO amend the proposed regulations to permit the sale of alcohol beverages from food trucks.

Because Keep Food Legal supports food choice--rather than particular food choices--we also urge DCRA to consider steps to alleviate the tremendous burden its regulations (and regulations enforced by other District agencies) place on brick-and-mortar restaurants.

You can read our complete response here. We also included by reference and link a 2011 Reason magazine article on DC food truck regulations written by executive director Baylen Linnekin. In case you haven't read that piece, you can do so here.